At the young age of five, Snow Canyon’s Jenny Stewart, got her first taste of playing soccer and has never looked back since. Inquire on how this senior feels about the game and the smile on her face alone indicates that it’s her passion. “I love every part of it. There is something about soccer that just makes me happy. I just love spending time with the girls.”
Jenny’s typical day during soccer season may be explained as a constant juggle of demands and pressures. “It’s hard to balance school and soccer, especially where academics are so important to me, and I’ve been taking harder classes.” However, Jenny refuses to shy away from the challenge.
Enrolled in multiple honor and AP classes during her junior year, Jenny plans to continue the trend of challenging herself by taking on additional college courses her senior year. She expects her hard work to pay off and maintain her 4.0 GPA. “Sports has given me a hard working attitude. I know when I play, I need to do my best, which has translated to my schooling, and everything else that I do.”
School instructors have proven to be a great aid to Jenny, and it is something she is genuinely grateful for. “My teachers have helped me a lot. I would just have to get into the pattern of getting my work done before it is due because [with sports] you have limited time.” Limited time indeed, especially when taking into account the regular two-hour practice that follows Jenny’s school day.
In the Fall, Jenny is heavily involved with TOP Soccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer), a community-based training and team placement program for young athletes with special needs.
“We get to play soccer with the kids on Saturday, and it’s a lot of fun. I love it. It’s so fun to share something that I love with other people. It’s nice too because we do it as a team, but anyone is welcome to come out and help.”
Charles Stewart, Jenny’s father, elaborates on the rigorous schedule his daughter has chosen to tackle head on. “There are those times when she would get home about 5 pm, and other than dinner, she would only be studying. But, she made the choice. We didn’t make it for her. There were many days where she would spend up to six hours doing homework.”
As for her future, Jenny states, “I just want to keep my options open and see what comes. I would love to play soccer in college and will work for an athletic scholarship and see what happens.”
Spending time with her family is a high priority for Jenny, and it is clear she enjoys a special bond with her father Charles. Jenny considers him to be one of her greatest supporters and expounds on all that he does to help her. “He has gone out with me a lot early in the morning and has played with me and helped me get better. He comes out with me at five o’clock in the morning and works with me every day, helping with drills or whatever I need.”
Jenny explains that beyond the sports, her parents have done a tremendous job at showing each of their children what it means to serve others. “My parents, they are my greatest examples. They are always serving others, willing to do things for other people. That is something I have learned from them.”
State Championship Team Soccer Freshman – First team All-State Track Freshman & Sophomore – First team All-State Soccer Junior – Elks Student of the Year
Playing in her final season at Snow Canyon, Jenny hopes that this season will be her best. “I am definitely working hard and pushing myself for my last year. I want to play well for my teammates. I just love them all.”
Part of Jenny’s preparation stems from what one might call, a team pre-game ritual. Jenny and her teammates deliberately focus on personal goals while playing in a way that is both unique and touching. Jenny explains, “I think it was the seniors that started it a long time ago, maybe the year we took State. I can’t say for sure. But, during the season, we get out [athletic] tape, and on the tape, we write down a few goals each game (like taking harder shots or being smarter with the ball) and stick them on our shin guards. Then we pick someone that we are going to play for, and we write their number on our wrists.”
The best team sport athletes are the ones who understand that the team’s overall performance is more important than that of one individual player. Such a mentality holds true for Jenny as well. She briefly shared what she referred to as a “good game” against Pine View. “We were tied 0-0 at the half, and we ended up winning 3-0 when it was over.” As it turns out, it was Jenny who scored all three of her team’s goals for the win, but for this Snow Canyon senior, that detail was less important to mention than the fact that her team won together.
How does Jenny Stewart hope to be remembered after she leaves Snow Canyon? She answered, “I hope people remember me for all the good things I’ve tried to do. That I tried my best, and that I can be a good example to others.” • HSSI